Cochon555 Unveils NYC Chef Lineup
Cochon555 returns to New York City on January 29. Cochon555 events support the idea that pigs are the perfect protein and believe that raising heritage breeds are the way forward for both agriculture and flavor. Five local chefs have been chosen to compete in this year’s competition.
The 5 Competing Chefs:
Chef Nicole Gajadhar of Saxon + Parole—Meat-Centric American Eatery
Chef Ryan Bartlow of Quality Eats—Neighborhood Steak Joint with a Twist
Chef Greg Baxtrom of Olmsted—New American by a Chef-Farmer Team
Chef Aaron Hoskins of Birds & Bubbles—Elevated Southern Dining
Chef Chris Szyjka of Chef’s Club by Food & Wine—Iconic Chef Signature Cookery
At the center of Cochon555 is a culinary championship featuring five chefs cooking five whole, heritage breed pigs with innovative techniques and bold flavor profiles. One week before the event, each chef receives a knock on their door by a pig farmer and a 180—200 pound heritage breed pig. They are each tasked to create and present a “Judge’s Plate” of 6 dishes scored on categories such as utilization; cooking techniques; and overall flavor. The winner from each city is crowned the “Prince or Princess of Porc,” and given a place at our national championship, Grand Cochon, to be held in Chicago in October 2017.
Communal feasting is an integral part of the Cochon555 culinary fabric. Beyond the 30 chef-competitor dishes—all told, some 1,500-plus pounds of heritage pork from family farms—guests can sample beef tartare with the wines of Antica Napa Valley; farmhouse cheeses; a pop-up bakery from La Brea; a Salami Snack Bar from Creminelli and Divina; a ramen noodle soup bar paired with the racy white Wines of Germany; organic pâté offerings from Les Trois Petit Cochons; a Luxury Butter Bar featuring Sabatino truffle butter, foie gras, and more; and an innovative take on a classic pastry presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.
Cochon555 events are theaters for innovative spirit, wine, and cocktail experiences. Libations include Smoked Old Fashioneds with Breckenridge Bourbon; The Manhattan Project presented by Poached Jobs; the Tiki Bar featuring Angostura Rum; a Courvoisier Cognac ‘neat’ tasting with hand-crafted caramels; and a Heritage Rum Cart. New pours incorporating the historic bitters and luscious rums of Angostura will also be unveiled at the Swizzle Bar. An array of wines grouped under the “5 Winemakers” banner will feature Scholium Project; Pax Wine Cellars; and more. Further tables include Wines of the World, Azzurro Wine Company, and a host of artisanal cider and beer offerings.
Tickets for general admission start at $125; VIP tickets (early admission + exclusive sommelier and cocktail competition tastings) are $200; and BESPOKE tickets $400 (includes a multi-course guest chef charity dinner on Saturday night Hosted by Saxon + Parole chef Brad Farmerie); super early admission + exclusive private tasting and tour of Somm-Selected wines and the Barkeep competition by a Cochon555 director on Sunday; and a donation to Piggy Bank charity).
Cochon555 champions honest food from real farmers with the goal of a sustainable and profitable relationship for all. Placing the spotlight on heritage breed pigs and those who raise and cook them, each event features a Pop-Up Butcher Demo and Auction with Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest. Together with gifts from Williams-Sonoma and John Boos & Co., they will raise money to benefit Piggy Bank, a farm-in-the-making devoted to providing free heritage breed pigs to small farms in exchange for transparent business plans that are posted online in the name of “open-source agriculture.” Closing this year’s event is a “Tribute” musical performance of Kool Keith’s infamous album “Dr. Octagon” with DJ Lord of Public Enemy.
“Cochon555 has always been proud to work with some of the most talented chefs in the country, as well as to watch them take approaches to whole-hog cookery that are innovative and delicious,” says Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe. “This year’s group of New York City chefs are a real yardstick of just how important this city’s contributions are to our national food scene. I can’t wait to see what tastes and textures they bring to the event on Sunday.”